TV on the Radio - Dear Science
Record Label: DGC / Interscope
Release Date: September 23, 2008
We all knew TV on the Radio had the potential to be big. What we didn’t know was that they would reach this potential by completely altering their sound. From a high loft in New York City, Tunde Adebimpe and Co. have created an album very accessible to the outside world, while still maintaining the loyalty of their deeply rooted fans. After the widely acclaimed Best Album of the Year, Return to Cookie Mountain made its debut in 2006, TV on the Radio knew they would have to mix things up in order to make another masterpiece. Thankfully, they have done just that. Meet, Dear Science.
Early into the opening track, "Halfway Home," it becomes clear that TV on the Radio have changed. With gleeful "ba ba ba ba ba" chants, persistent hand claps, and a dramatic bass hum, it’s apparent that the band is experimenting with a new idea: fun. By track three, "Dancing Choose," you’ll think you bought the wrong album. With a dance and computer-synthesized feel, Adebimpe raps for three minutes about, well, who knows? A popular fan favorite, this track has an unbelievably catchy tune, as the slower chorus simply works perfectly with the faster paced verses. The first single, "Golden Age," delivers more handclaps, more dance groove, more rap, and another award-winning chorus. Adebimpe shows off his falsetto as he sings “Move your body/ You’ve got all you need/ And your arms in the air stir a sea of stars/ And oh, here it comes and it’s not so far.” This song brilliantly brings the listener’s mood to his/her most cheerful state before completely reversing it with the awe inspiring, "Family Tree." Here, we have a beautiful ballad, filled with violins, ranging vocals, and some of TV on the Radio’s best lyrics. This is my outright favorite track on the album, and serves as a perfect song to calm the listener between the upbeat "Golden Age" and the peculiar "Red Dress." "Love Dog" is another favorite of mine; it's a stunning mid-paced song with gorgeous violin and piano and a two-minute haunting outro.
The end of the album is near-perfect. "Shout Me Out" and "DLZ" both progressively excite the listener for an ultimate finale ("DLZ" is especially worth checking out). However, what we get as an ending is perhaps TV on the Radio’s most interesting song to date. The song is stunning. Adebimpe croons unorthodox lyrics while being accompanied by friendly flutes, saxophones, and clarinets. This six minute finisher, "Lovers Day," is the song TV on the Radio fans have been waiting for.
This record is begging to be played over and over again. With each listen, you will find new lyrics within the raps, and a different favorite song each day. If you haven’t experienced their other material, definitely check out Return to Cookie Mountain and the excellent Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, as you’ll be amazed to see the progression of this great band. Now the only question left to ask is what can we expect next?